In 2019, in Steve Yzerman’s first draft as GM of the Detroit Red Wings, he shocked the hockey world by picking German defenseman Moritz Seider at 6th overall, despite most analysts having him being primed to go in the middle to late first round. Many chastised Yzerman for this, saying Seider was a waste of a pick at that point in the draft. With his incredibly strong play since being drafted, it couldn’t be more apparent how wrong these doubters were.
In a strong start in the AHL with the Grand Rapids Griffins during the 2019-20 season, Seider put up 22 points (2 G, 22 A) in 49 games before the COVID-19 pandemic cut his season short. In the following season, Detroit loaned Seider to Rögle BK of the SHL, where he truly began to show glimpses of what his future may hold. In 41 games with Rögle, Seider posted 28 points (7 G, 21 A), while also being named the SHL Defenseman of the year. On an international level, Seider has competed for Germany numerous times, at both the World Juniors and the World Championships. At the 2019 World Juniors, he led all defensemen in scoring with 7 points (1 G, 6 A) and was subsequently named the top defenseman of the tournament. Most recently, he impressed at the 2021 World Championship, again being named top defenseman and was even named to the All-Star team after scoring 5 points, all assists, through 10 games. It was this performance that made many who questioned his ability to play against NHL caliber talent accept the fact that he is the real deal.
So where does he fit in with Detroit? While it’s obvious the Wings have struggled greatly the past few seasons, they are on the up. With additions like Nick Leddy, and resigning key pieces like Filip Hronek, the Wings d-core is finally starting to look like an NHL blueline. As for Seider, he will likely start the season off seeing second line minutes, and will more than likely be paired with a veteran player like Danny DeKeyser, Marc Staal, or Leddy, to teach him how to play on an NHL blueline. Many are anticipating Nick Leddy to step in and be the young Germans mentor, as Leddy was a leader during his time on the Islanders and will be able to fill that role perfectly for Seider.
Don’t be surprised either if Seider grabs some Calder votes at the end of the season should his development continue on the upward trend it’s currently on. While the 2021-22 rookie class is one of the most talented ones we’ve seen in a while, Seider makes a great case for himself already. With many strong prospects such as Jamie Drysdale and Quinton Byfield playing in the substantially weaker West, Seider is going to be in a division with some of the biggest beasts in the NHL – Tampa Bay, Florida, Toronto, and Boston. Even Montreal isn’t going to be a complete pushover. Seider will be playing against tougher opponents on a more regular basis than the majority of other top prospects, save for Cole Caufield in Montreal or Spencer Knight in Florida. Seider has also consistently proven himself as a younger player in all the levels he’s played at. While in the SHL, he led all rookies in scoring, and was a solid force in Grand Rapids, proving his worth in the heavily competitive AHL despite being only 18 years old. If he manages to play with the edge and consistency he’s had in previous years, he will more than likely be heavily considered for the award regardless of the heavy competition he faces.
For his future, Seider has already garnered comparisons to Victor Hedman, with some even going as far to call him a lesser Nick Lidstrom. While calling him a lesser Lidstrom may sound bad, even being included with one of the greatest defenseman of all time is not a comparison to be taken lightly. Although he has yet to make his NHL debut, he has become a fan favorite due to his strong skating, excellent playmaking ability, and physical play. Standing at 6’4” and weighing in at just under 210 pounds, Seider is a monstrous force on the blueline, evident by the bone-crushing hits he lays on anyone in his path. While it’s unknown if this level of physicality will transfer over to the NHL level, there’s little doubt that Seider will make opposing players think twice about skating near him with the puck. Despite his size, he is a very talented skater, able to keep pace with many quick players and is surprisingly agile to boot. Another aspect Seider brings is his leadership potential. He has twice captained the German team at World Juniors both in the 2019 and 2020 tournaments, where he received high praise from his coaches for being a leader on and off the ice. With Rögle, Seider was also seen going to each teammate and consoling them following their loss in the SHL finals. For such a young player, Seider shows a tremendous amount of humility and maturity, something any team looks for in leadership, and with two open alternate captain spots on the Red Wings lineup, Seider has the potential to fill one of them should they remain open. It’s obvious that Seider has an incredibly bright future in the NHL, and will no doubt be a key piece in returning Hockeytown to its former glory.